Shetland Sheep: Rich in History, Rich in Textiles

Shetland Sheep: Rich in History, Rich in Textiles! Our farm mission is to enjoy and promote the wonderful diversity of the Shetland breed by fully utilizing to the best of our ability all they have to offer historically. We believe the best preservation and management of this breed includes it's full spectrum of history. We encourage old and new shepherds alike to join in the fun by engaging in fiber arts, especially spinning and knitting, as this breed is so intimately linked with those aspects of the arts.

Monday, June 3, 2013

My Favorite Poodles

Every year after shearing the rams, I can't help but think of how they go from big, fierce fellows to, well, something more akin to poodles!
 My big boys, suddenly not so big!  
I think they are reduced to a third after shearing...
 A Wheely Wooly Farm fleece, hand sheared by me, spring 2013.
I love the variegation of color here!  Makes a handspinner drool.
Handspinning retains that special color in the yarn.
I guess they got plenty to eat over winter!  It's always nice when you find good body condition under all that fleece.  Here, they are in our handy dandy holding pen just outside the barn, while I work on them.

 Ahh!  That late spring air feels so good after my shearing!

'scuse me!  WHO is already wearing his dinner on his head??? lol
I hate feeding alfalfa, but that's all we could get in last year's drought.
I reallyreallyreallyreally hope we can get ALL grass this year!!!!!

The fleeces from these fellas came in real nice this year, and are skirted, bagged, and ready for washing.  I always have to remove the fibers from around their horn area, as they felt that up pretty good with all that horn action (i.e. clunkin' around), so the top of the head fleece and around the neck has been removed and thrown out.  Some of my ewes are still not showing much rise yet, which would make them much harder to shear.  Sweetie is always the last to go...she's out of AI stock (Island Skeld).  The rams always go earlier, and therefore always seem to get done first.  I think I'm down to the final dozen or so sheep left to shear.

Happy Monday everyone!

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